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Sketching at A la Ronde. These two watercolour sketches were done at different times of the year. Hence, the different state of the foliage in the garden. I have just used a small A5 Daler Rowney, Red & Yellow cartridge pad. With my Winsor & Newton, watercolour field paint box. Plus a two, round brushes – sable no.6 & a no.1

Featured sketch above:

Window at A la Ronde

This is a detail of one of A la Ronde’s diamond-shaped windows and the glorious garden, in July.


A la Ronde

A la Ronde was built by two cousins Jane and Mary Parminter, in 1796. The 16-sided house is now a National Trust property.
Jane was the daughter of John Parminter, a wine merchant from North Devon. Born in London, Jane became guardian to her orphan cousin Mary and the two became very attached to each other. In 1784 they embarked on the ‘Grand Tour‘. The A la Ronde building is said to be based on Basilica of San Vitale that they saw on their tour around Europe. On there return they decided to create a home in Devon. Family tradition has it that Jane designed A la Ronde herself.
The ground floor rooms radiate out from a central octagonal hallway, which is an impressive 35′ in height. If you look in the hallway you can see the Shell Gallery set into the ceiling. Unfortunately, the high, Shell Gallery is now very fragile. However, a CCTV has been installed so that you can virtually look around it. The quirky shaped rooms remind me of a boat. With small oddly shaped wood-panelled rooms.
In Mary’s will, it was stated that the property should remain in the hands of an “unmarried kinswomen”. However, in 1886 the house was transferred to the Reverend Oswald Reichel, a brother of one of the former occupants. Reichel embarked on some substantial changes to the property. Adding upstairs bedrooms with dormer windows, replacing the original thatch with tiles. And adding an external catwalk, amongst other things.

Watercolour sketch of A la Ronde

Watercolour ~ A5

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